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Subject: Frustrated. I can't figure out how to play this game. rss

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Dan Briand
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I've never played CCG or Dice games like this before.

I've read the rulebook and watched many youtube videos about this game. Overall, I've spent about 2 hours just trying to figure out how to play this damned thing.

I tried playing with my wife and follow along with the "first game" outlined in the rulebook. a couple of turns into it and we both felt like we were playing completely wrong.

She bought a kitty pryde sprite die, attacked me while I only had one useless blocker and she used a global Enrage which means she dealt 4 damage to me.

3 turns in and I'm down almost half my health? That doesn't seem right.

And I had a hard time figuring out the attacking/blocking and how things get assigned. Even following along the examples of play in the rulebook I just eneded up really confused.

Watching youtube videos of gameplay and I still couldn't figure out because the game was played by people who know what they're doing so they never fully explained the "why" of the consequences of their action. (like "Because I blocked him with this character, I move this character over to this area" type thing).

The closest I've come to seeing a well explained game was from Watch it Played (AvX edition), but I'm still left extremely confused.

I think I really need to sit down with someone who knows this game inside out to show me the step by step because I am completely lost.


Sorry for the venting, I'm just frustrated because I've never had this much difficulty learning how to play a game.

Aaaargh
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Jeff Brzozowski
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You're not the only one.

I went hog wild and bought way too much of the first set and finally had a chance to play it at my LCS.

After reviewing the rules and choosing who we wanted in our game to 'purchase' in-game, we finally started to play.

Same deal- I was half dead by turn three by sidekicks alone. We had purchased some heroes but they didn't even make it out into the field. Game over.

Is this what the game is supposed to be about? Where's the epic hero vs. villains? Am I missing something?

I'm tempted because I want to love this game and I'm a huge x-men fan. I've held off buying this new set. Thinking of creating a variant to remove the sidekick dice altogether and just picking a team of heroes vs. villains and playing it that way.

Thoughts?


Glad you posted this thread.
 
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Scott Hill
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There is a bit of 'chicken and egg' with games like this.

You need to know how to put together an effective team, but in order to do that you need to know (at least some of) the intricacies of play.

And to learn the intricacies of play you need to play effectively.

But to play effectively you need to know how the team works.

And so on!

I'm sure two novices could figure it out for themselves, but it is certainly easier if you can sit down with someone that knows what they're doing and can talk you through it.
 
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Joe Oppedisano
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I don't think you're alone. I'm a casual gamer when it comes to LCG/CCG type games. I find that each time I play MDM I do have to refresh myself on some of the nuances of the game, especially issues of timing. I just can't seem to keep timing straight as different effects occur at different times (i.e. damage effects from cards, versus damage from dice, versus global effects, etc.).

There are other curious issues as well, such as why there are so few villains compared to heroes and even fewer affordable ones (why does Toad cost 5 when Storm costs 2 or 3?).

All criticisms aside, the game can be fun and challenging. I would suggest starting off by ensuring that you have mostly low cost dice (2 and 3) and only a small handful of the more expensive dice, maybe one or two dice that cost 5, 6, or 7. Most people seem to focus on the low cost dice and only purchase the expensive ones on those rare occasions when they have a lot of energy.

From there, I usually try to field at least 2-3 sidekicks early on. This serves two purposes: 1)it thins my dice pool to ensure I bring out better heroes on my draws and; 2) it gives me some chump blockers if my opponent wants to attack. Also, since the sidekicks go to the prep area instead of the used pile if they block and get knocked out, it gives me even more dice the next turn which ca be used to buy more dice or field more sidekicks.

These might help keep you in the game longer until you build some momentum with other dice.

Finally, don't worry so much about whether you played a certain rule 'correctly.' We usually make a decision in-game that seems to make sense. I then spend time after the game trying to find a ruling. But if I'm playing casually, I don't usually sweat whether something we did is tournament worthy. It definitely helps to make the game smoother and more enjoyable.
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Patrick Crane
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Hi Dan,
I have to say that I'm in the same boat here. I've never really played, with any seriousness, a collectable card/dice game before. This one really seamed to speak to me in terms of uniqueness and theme. However, after a few plays and about 30 bucks later, I'm a bit frustrated with it. I have also had games end far too quickly and a game I played last night ended in 3 or 4 turns with only one hero ever being fielded. I want to give this game a few more tries, and I also want to love it but my FLGS crew are a bit too intense to really teach the game.

Anyway, will keep you updated on my progression and we will see how it goes. Good luck on your future plays.
 
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SpidermanGeek wrote:
I've never played CCG or Dice games like this before.

I've read the rulebook and watched many youtube videos about this game. Overall, I've spent about 2 hours just trying to figure out how to play this damned thing.

I tried playing with my wife and follow along with the "first game" outlined in the rulebook. a couple of turns into it and we both felt like we were playing completely wrong.

She bought a kitty pryde sprite die, attacked me while I only had one useless blocker and she used a global Enrage which means she dealt 4 damage to me.

3 turns in and I'm down almost half my health? That doesn't seem right.

And I had a hard time figuring out the attacking/blocking and how things get assigned. Even following along the examples of play in the rulebook I just eneded up really confused.

Watching youtube videos of gameplay and I still couldn't figure out because the game was played by people who know what they're doing so they never fully explained the "why" of the consequences of their action. (like "Because I blocked him with this character, I move this character over to this area" type thing).

The closest I've come to seeing a well explained game was from Watch it Played (AvX edition), but I'm still left extremely confused.

I think I really need to sit down with someone who knows this game inside out to show me the step by step because I am completely lost.


Sorry for the venting, I'm just frustrated because I've never had this much difficulty learning how to play a game.

Aaaargh
The "first game" is just to really acquaint yourself with the rules and flow. If I remember correctly, you start at 10 life. It's meant to play fast and be over fast.

And, while it's "playable" at that level, I find the game really shines in the tournament rules construction. (And you don't have to play in tournaments, just use those rules for team construction.) Up to 8 cards, with 20 total dice, and starting at 20 life.

At that level, you can have much longer, satisfying games.
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Satan Himself
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I'd be willing to do a session with people that want to learn how to play the game. If it helps the community I'm all for it. Just let me know and I'll try to set aside some time.
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Scott Hill
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If any of you have the ability to play via Google+ Hangout I would be happy to play some teaching games.

Also, when I've finished updating the MDM VASSAL module to support UXM (which is partly a matter of waiting for card scans), then the same could be done via that.
 
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Jason Nopa
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Part of the problem is the poor rule book, but the other part of the problem is that there's a fairly big reliance that players will have some familiarity with this or other similar type game.

Things to consider:

1. Buying dice adds to your dice pool. What does that mean? It means that overall, you now have a chance to pull a non-sidekick character die now, but it also means that your dice pool grows by 1. To even out or increase your chances of pulling purchased dice, you need to thin out your dice pool. That often means fielding side kicks.

So, a big part of this game is understanding the ebb and flow. If you buy too many die that never get fielded, you decrease your chance of drawing certain dice every round. If you don't field sidekicks or find ways to move them to the prep/KO area, you decrease your chances of pulling your stronger dice. If you move too many sidekicks to the field, you can't generate certain energy types. So there's a very interesting middle ground you have to balance.

2. Board control. This is a theme common to any game of this type, but in this game especially. What is board control? Board control is maintaining characters in the field and creates a state where your opponent cannot do what they want to do.

In this game, it usually means having more characters out than your opponent and/or finding ways to return them to the field quickly/easily. This also means when to attack and when not to attack.

Because of how attacking works in this game, you have to decide carefully. Non-blocked characters that deal damage to your opponent go to your used pile. If you have a large dice pool, you might not see them for a while, but you dealt damage to your opponent.

Blocked characters deal no direct damage to your opponent (unless a special ability is used), but they will either knock out a blocked character or be knocked out themselves which moves them to the KO/Prep area.

This is critical, because it means that if your opponent blocks an attack and their character is knocked out, they get that character for roll on the next turn. If you attack and your character is knocked out and their character is knocked out, that means on their turn, not only do they get to roll that die in their KO/prep area, you are down a character for his counter attack.

In addition, if you block a character die from your opponent and knock them out, there's a possibility that they will get that character again on their next turn. Sometimes, you have to look at the state of their used pile and determine whether you should let their character deal damage to you unblocked so that 1. their character goes away for a turn or so, and 2. they are down that character on your turn.

Board control is huge and important and takes a while to understand and learn in this type of game if you haven't encountered it before.

3. There are a lot of rules. Do your best to learn them, but don't be afraid to make cheat sheets and or break the game into phases and work out the options and events that can happen in each phase. It gets easier and you realize that the game is simpler than you think it is... but the game is dependent on luck (dice rolls and dice draws) a bit more than other games of this type.
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Dan Briand
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Wow, I didn't expect so many replies (and sympathizers!).

It's nice to know that my frustration has been felt by others as well.

I realize that this game, in essence, is simpler than I'm making out to be in my own head, but because luck plays such a big factor in this game, it's hard to be prepared to face and let alone anticipate what kind of situations I will find myself in as a player.

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Jason Nopa
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It gets easier to learn, especially if you're able to play players at all different skill levels. I know that's harder to do than it sounds. Some people have no community in their area and only have spouse or single friends to play with.

Even with my experience (I played magic the gathering for a few years and play star wars the card game with some pros), I realized that I didn't know how to play the game at all. It definitely has its own set of quirks and things to learn. But that's part of what makes it fun and interesting.

The hardest thing is figuring out how to make a come back from when you're behind and your opponent has a lot of units out. The viable options at that point are more limited.

Also, if you both play defensively, you'll often find that both of you end up in a cold war situation until one person builds up an army that they know they can end on a single turn. A lot of characters work against that, but it doesn't do good if neither of you are playing with that character.
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Reverend Redd
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Ya, I hate HATE the "Learning Game" in the starter. You learn the flow of a turn, but that's it - nothing of value happens. No matter what the dice pool size, playing to 15 or especially 20 life leads to a much more interesting experience, offering enough time for some real strategies to unfold.
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J. H. Horatio
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SpidermanGeek wrote:
because luck plays such a big factor in this game


It really doesn't. Good players will beat you. Then you can switch teams and they will beat you again.

I only say this because you really shouldn't shortchange the strategy in this game. It's deeper than most people think.
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Satan Himself
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Yep. The game has a lot of depth for his simple it is. Once you get to understanding all the moving parts and begin formulating strategies it turns into a really interesting mind game.

Today we had our OP month 5 and game 3 of the last round had me in a weird situation where shooting my opponent's characters with Human Torch was actually not viable - the winning play was pinging my own Storm off the board because if I attacked and he didn't block I wasn't guaranteed to draw it again, and if he blocked he had the opportunity to get an extra Human Torch trigger before I got my next turn. Just an example of the level of thought that goes into this game sometimes.
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Jared Wood
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What exactly are you confused on? If there's specific things you're confused about, most of the forum should be able to clear things up for you. Watch It Played's How to Play video explains the basics extremely well - even if its for the AvX set instead of Uncanny.

Here's a link to the entire Dice Masters playlist that they've done, starting with the How to Play video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVmqPvAVPI4&list=PLHvfN_pNBj...

If that wasn't the one you watched, I recommend watching it.

SpidermanGeek wrote:
I realize that this game, in essence, is simpler than I'm making out to be in my own head, but because luck plays such a big factor in this game, it's hard to be prepared to face and let alone anticipate what kind of situations I will find myself in as a player.

Luck plays a factor just as it does in any game - but the luck is a factor for both players, so all you can do is play the odds and know what can happen. For example, every character die you purchase has a 50% chance to roll a character face. That will never change, so you can use those odds to your advantage.

I also recommend a higher life total, such as 15 or 20, as it will get the game to actually go somewhere instead of sidekicks eating a whole tenth of your life total.
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Dan Briand
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Well I have since managed to play the "first game" setup a couple of more times (by myself), so now I think I have a pretty good handle on tge flow of the game.

I found the link to the Marvel Dice Masters FAQ which I'm sure will come in handy and I've been looking around in the AvX forums for more information since the UXM forums seem to be filled mostly with threads from people who already know how to play (there aren't a lot of basic gameplay questions being asked or answered in this area)

The learning curve is starting to flatten out for me, now i think I'm ready to start facing more situational scenarios and strategy.

Some of the basic stuff i didn't really understand before are things like assugning blockers (even though i'm still not 100% sure on how attacking and blocking plays out, but that will come in time.)

Figuring out action/ability timing should also prove interesting once we have more cards on the table.
 
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Jason Nopa
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SpidermanGeek wrote:
Well I have since managed to play the "first game" setup a couple of more times (by myself), so now I think I have a pretty good handle on tge flow of the game.

I found the link to the Marvel Dice Masters FAQ which I'm sure will come in handy and I've been looking around in the AvX forums for more information since the UXM forums seem to be filled mostly with threads from people who already know how to play (there aren't a lot of basic gameplay questions being asked or answered in this area)

The learning curve is starting to flatten out for me, now i think I'm ready to start facing more situational scenarios and strategy.

Some of the basic stuff i didn't really understand before are things like assugning blockers (even though i'm still not 100% sure on how attacking and blocking plays out, but that will come in time.)

Figuring out action/ability timing should also prove interesting once we have more cards on the table.


Any specific questions on attacking/blocking that you're unclear on?

Here's the general stuff

If I attack with a single die and you block with any number of dice, you take no damage. All of the damage from the attacker is assigned to the die/dice you block with. The defending die/dice also deal their damage back to the die that they blocked. Damage is dealt simultaneously unless a specific ability triggers that.

If multiple die are used to block a single attacking die, the attacker chooses how to distribute the damage among the defending dice.

A lot of what's detailed in the FAQ are special case scenarios due to poor consistency and wording of special abilities. Characters tend to break the normal rules with their special abilities. So take that into consideration. Playing characters without special abilities can help you get the basics down if you're still unclear about things...
 
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Dan Briand
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Yeah I was reading a bit more about attacking/blocking and I think I got the basics.

My other head scratcher pertained to the Generic Energy from the basic ability dice.

I couldn't wrap my brain around how it's described in the rule book, but now I see that the Generic Energy (2) is more of a 'Chameleon" energy.. meaning it can't be used as a wildcard, but it can be used or attach itself to any of the other energy types or used in situations where no specific energy type is required (like buying another basic action die or fielding character dice).

Correct?
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SpidermanGeek wrote:
Yeah I was reading a bit more about attacking/blocking and I think I got the basics.

My other head scratcher pertained to the Generic Energy from the basic ability dice.

I couldn't wrap my brain around how it's described in the rule book, but now I see that the Generic Energy (2) is more of a 'Chameleon" energy.. meaning it can't be used as a wildcard, but it can be used or attach itself to any of the other energy types or used in situations where no specific energy type is required (like buying another basic action die or fielding character dice).

Correct?
Yes, perfect.
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Jeff Brzozowski
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So I had a generic question that I thought would make sense here in the 'frustrated' thread.

Does it bother anyone else that teams are picked on who can KO their opponent faster? I can understand avengers vs. x-men as it happened in the comics but whatever happened to fielding an x-men team versus the hydra villain group?

I guess what I'm asking is could I essentially pick one die from all the available x-men in this set and do the same for the villains- then place them by group in the colored bags and have each player blindly draw who is going to be on their team of heroes or villains? Granted each time a die for a character is drawn, they'd also need to randomly draw one of the three cards (or two depending on what cards I have from the boosters) to lay out on the table along with said die, then start playing- and purchase those cards/die as the game goes along.

I haven't yet tried this and I know point cost may be an issue, but am I crazy? Could it work?
 
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Dan Briand
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Well considering this game is designed for Head to Head competitive/versus type play, it's natural that players will pick teams that can ensure a win.

But with taht said, I'm a bigger fan of "good play" and like you, I prefer things being more balanced.

I don't have enough experience playing this yet, but I would venture that after I'm done learning the basics, I will start leaning toward a more random approach to picking teams, except I think I would devide my pools with low cost cards/dice in one (3 and under) and high cost cards/dice in the other (4 and over) and force players to pick an equal amount from each pool for their teams.
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Scott Hill
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jbwc wrote:
So I had a generic question that I thought would make sense here in the 'frustrated' thread.

Does it bother anyone else that teams are picked on who can KO their opponent faster? I can understand avengers vs. x-men as it happened in the comics but whatever happened to fielding an x-men team versus the hydra villain group?

I guess what I'm asking is could I essentially pick one die from all the available x-men in this set and do the same for the villains- then place them by group in the colored bags and have each player blindly draw who is going to be on their team of heroes or villains? Granted each time a die for a character is drawn, they'd also need to randomly draw one of the three cards (or two depending on what cards I have from the boosters) to lay out on the table along with said die, then start playing- and purchase those cards/die as the game goes along.

I haven't yet tried this and I know point cost may be an issue, but am I crazy? Could it work?


Yes, it could work.

I've played 'random draft' games with Kit via VASSAL and they can be a lot of fun.

There is one slight issue with doing, say, Villains vs X-Men, in the way you describe, which is that some characters have different affiliations on different variants of their card. But I guess you could just, for example, drop 1 Quicksilver die in each bag and if the Villain player draws it he can only choose Quicksilver Villainous, but the X-Men player gets to choose from his other three variants.
 
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Aaron Edwards
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Another sympathizer here, Dan. I have played a lot of CCG's, and I've played Quarriors, from which MDM takes a lot of concepts and I still found learning this game confusing. My brother and I played with the AvX starter set probably 10 times and still didn't feel like we were doing it right. But we stuck with it and I finally got my hands on a bunch of Uncanny stuff. A few basic observations after having played more:

-The game makes a lot more sense with more dice and higher starting life than the intro game. The intro game felt like just trading a few blows back and forth until someone died. It was too short to really see the interaction between character and the value of leaving characters in the field instead of always attacking. When you have more breathing room in terms of dice options and time before you die, the mechanics make a lot more sense.

-It helps to play a few games where you just completely ignore the text on the cards as much as possible. Just compare numbers on the dice until you feel comfortable with how the very basic mechanics of moving the dice around works. It can feel overwhelming to try to learn that and remember all the card effects.

- This is actually a pretty complex game. I think the average person who buys this off the shelf at Target is going to have a major case of WTF. My brother and I play this between hands of Magic: The Gathering and I think MDM actually makes us think more.
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Jeff Brzozowski
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Thanks!

I've purchased a starter and 21 boosters so far. I was able to pull the iron man super rare but still missing a toad, x-23, psylocke, and an apocalypse. Anyone have any dupes? I'm also looking for the x-men from the avx set, one each. pM me. (;

I really only want one die for each character so when I get the chance to play with my neighbor (who's not a gamer by any means but still enjoys when I bring something new over), I'll have ONE character die with ONE special card each (not sure how I'll chose which one if I have more)and attempt to play the game that way. I didn't want to become overwhelmed with having to buy pack after pack in hopes of getting at least three dice per character. If I can play the game simplistically (no tournaments) with just one die per character, I'll be good. I'm weird like that- only someone like multiple man should have multiple dice.

I'll post my findings in time. (:
 
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Dan Briand
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Oph1d1an wrote:
-It helps to play a few games where you just completely ignore the text on the cards as much as possible. Just compare numbers on the dice until you feel comfortable with how the very basic mechanics of moving the dice around works. It can feel overwhelming to try to learn that and remember all the card effects.


I was actually thinking of doing this next time I play against my wife. That's a great suggestion.
 
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